Hello all , I have tried to put some thought into this. It was at first going to be a topic about fighting stigma, but maybe that's for another day. This is a topic/issue that comes up when we are suffering in life and how to look beyond that. A sort of long introduction first, with a personal story; I'll ask questions at the end of it. A member of this site, who passed away recently and I have deep respect for, said to me in a conversation something like this: "Yes, it's just being there in the world, feeling comfortable and vitally engaged in life." The member was describing what life was like before they got their disorder. But they were at peace with who they were and not obsess and ruminate about feelings they could not change. I did not find that comfort I was looking for anywhere for, what I consider, a long period of time. Still ongoing... I did decide to live a life, that's not worth living to anyone else I know, has no rewards in the form of good feelings, but a life that holds a much greater value to me than it did before. You could almost say I am glad I got my disorder. Nobody would believe me. But to value an experience I have, to be my dreams once again. I am glad, because I would not have chosen a path otherwise that would have led to finding out who I truly am. To quote the artist of an album I feel like I have a real deep emotional connection with: "Looking inward and finding who you really are. It is also about how you may have grown into a completely different person than you ever would have thought (for better or worse). Some of us never change, but I think I have changed a great deal." A few years ago, while I was in the middle of the grieving stage of my disorder, I had to let go of an idea. That idea was: All my previous ideas on how to cope with negatively perceived emotions, situations, events, thoughts and so on... stopped working in the regular way. When I was young and had not faced a mental disorder yet in life during that time, I made the connection in my brain that... If I wanted a certain "positive" feeling, while I was feeling bad, all I had to do was use my willpower and bend the thoughts and feelings until I felt okay again. When I was a child, it made so much sense to me. Later I discarded those old connections. However to deal with discomfort in a certain stage of my illness, I ended up talking to Joe & Jane Public at first, people I did know already in life, but people that weren't able to reduce my mental anguish. You could guess how that went. That's how weird communication is to me. Communication with someone who doesn't know anything about what you're going through in your mind and life. It's because I did not recognize that I had changed, that I became a different entity of sorts. The Joes and Janes just speak out a-less-than-10-word-sentence on what they think is best for you to feel better, and the person who is feeling bad ends up almost having to explain his/her entire life to prove them wrong. Just to convince the other party that a problem like depersonalization or depression etc is real, that you feel beyond horrible and are looking for answers. It could end up feeling like a fight not worth fighting. Not a single answer ends up being the right one. In the now, I am using very different coping methods to deal with it all. The amount of thinking and time I had to invest, to understand myself better and to learn how to cope, has been enormous. I'm glad that despite what happened, I'm still able to be myself. Questions: (1): How have you tried to change the way you felt in the early stages of your diagnosis? What were the coping methods you used and did any of them work? - Asking this mostly for myself because I would like to be able to support people I meet on the forum and elsewhere who are dealing with suffering without the people knowing why they suffer specifically. But I am also interested in your answers. (2): Present day, how have you yourself moved past certain old ideas that you now have discarded and have you made any realizations about your own life? Ideas that could be about yourself, the inner workings of your mind, and maybe general ideas about people you know that may have changed? (3): Last set of questions for now: All in all, it affects all areas of your life. Rather than say, it affects everything in a negative way, there are also different types of changes you yourself might not be aware of yet. What parts of the areas that your diagnosis had a heavy impact on, were you able to accept? (It's a question about the grieving process) In what areas were you still able to learn new skills in and gain experience in the process? Did you meet any interesting new people perhaps by interests/hobbies that may have shifted? To end: Did you find yourself practicing a hobby that you would not have otherwise, if it weren't for your diagnosis?